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Case Study: PACS 2000 Pretreatment Information Management System at the Cincinnati MSD

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The Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati ( has implemented a significant upgrade to its Industrial Pretreatment Information Management System (PIMS). This Oracle based system is both comprehensive for pretreatment activities and able to interact with the District's LIMS and enterprise applications such as GIS.

This presentation will: 1) chronicle (a) the District's journey from a paper-based system to the current Oracle based system, (b) the installation phase of data migration and configuration, (c) the start-up phase; 2) demonstrate (a) the work order scheduling of monitoring, (b) reports and correspondence, (c) the LIMS interface and the compliance evaluation of laboratory results; 3) forecast (a) the positive impact of implementing workflow using the systems ‘Task-on-statuschange’ feature, and (b) the integration of enterprise applications.

The District's pretreatment program began with a consultant's study in 1981 using a mainframe database. After Ohio EPA approval in 1986 the District began tracking industrial monitoring, permitting and compliance on paper. In 1988, a single IBM 286 PC using a Lotus 123 spreadsheet was purchased and used for this purpose. By 1990, the US EPA's free database software PCME was used on a Token-ring Novell network. In 1993, an extensive and expensive custom-built oracle based PIMS was rolled out. However, spreadsheets persisted and by 1997 a functional substitute was constructed in MS Access 2.0 by the users. In 2001, the District purchased the PACS 2000 PIMS system from enfoTech and Consulting, Inc of New Jersey (

Multiple silos of data existed in the District's pretreatment program and installation required cooperation of the data owners, cleansing of bad data, enhancing of poor data, and mapping the resulting data set for migration into the new database. Many sets of configuration data were needed to fill in the drop down lists (pick lists) in the PACS 2000 system. Reference tasks, specific to the District, were needed for the work order based monitoring schedule. Start-up presented challenges both to the users and designers with a heavy emphasis on screen navigation.

The PACS 2000 PIMS will be demonstrated using a copy of the database as used just prior to this presentation. The key features of scheduling of monitoring, tracking samples from empty bottles to certified LIMS output, through compliance evaluation and applicable enforcement.

In conclusion, the presentation will address progress in implementing workflow using the ‘taskon- status-change (planned, scheduled, complete, incomplete, rescheduled, passed, failed, cancel)’. As time permits, a brief discussion of integration with enterprise applications would be appropriate particularly concerning the Cincinnati Area Geographic Information System (CAGIS), which represents a significant public investment in enterprise wide data integration.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2003

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